the big ONE

It happened. Our first born had his first birthday. We celebrated. We cried (wait, that was just me - happy tears, I promise). We toasted our accomplishment of completing the first year of parents. And then collapsed. But don't worry, we got every thank you note signed, sealed and delivered.

People will tell you the time flies. And they are right.

But it also, at least for me, really did feel like a full year. Not less. The saying "the days are long but the years fly by" is true. Those days were long. And I don't doubt the years will fly faster each year. Like this one, where I find myself 3 months late in even sharing this update.

But I'm not here to go on about feelings. I am here to talk about the big ONE. And by that, I mean the PARTY we threw to celebrate the apple of our eye living his first year of life while we learned and tried to figure it all out around him.

So let's get started...

The BIG Idea
Let me start with the fact that I was fully honest with myself about the theme: not only does my child not care, he won't remember a thing. I could have blown this party out with a number of themes and ideas but tried to think about what he and the other small humans would like. I knew for a fact he loves balloons. Like maybe more than he loves me. 

Lucky for me, parties and balloons go together like peas and carrots. So decor was easy - lots and lots and lots of balloons. Like 2 SUV-sized car loads. And those were just the helium-inflated ones.

The Invite
You all know I love a good invite. This might be my favorite to date. I had seen ideas of using an actual balloon as an invite before and once I had landed on the idea, this seemed a natural choice.
Believe it or not, these invites were quite affordable. The main cost was printing on the balloons. Everything else was bought at - Paper Source (hide your shocked face) - or previously owned. I bought A6 Note Cards in MintA6 Envelopes in Poppy and 2.5 Round Labels in Curry. I downloaded Skinny Caps for free and printed the flat cards and labels at home. For the invite, I taped a strand of striped twine to the card with washi tape and then tied the balloon in a bow. A quick sketch of a balloon string completed the look for the envelope.

Here's what the balloon looked like once inflated.  Balloons Printed by Fast Balloons. And it's not just a clever name.  Both a proof and the final product arrived quicker than expected.

The Deets.
I think it's safe to say I like projects. And parties are my favorite projects. The extra touches and details were really fun. I had lots of ideas but managed to keep it simple - at least when it came to spending.  I won't lie. Finding the balance between keeping it simple and wanting to blow out the first and ONLY first birthday party was not easy. 

The mantle was hung with a DIY sign I made using cardstock in the same colors as the invites and my trusty twine.  Since I spared social media from the monthly milestone pics, I decided to place each one along the top to show that I did, in fact, do this.
Can't go wrong with balloons. Or so I thought, until I learned the cost of helium. While I still had about 40 balloons inflated and dispersed, I also relied on the lungs of myself and family members and hung some from the ceiling, windows, you name it. Another perk to this was that it could be done the night before. Win. Win. 

I'm always a fan of using matte wrapping paper as a table runner. Here I used this balloons print, cut it in half lengthwise ("hot dog") and ran it along the length of the table. Cupcake Toppers were from Feeelingthebeauty via Etsy.

Water balloons served as the mini balloon cake toppers. just add them to wooden skewers. ta-da!

Did you know 1 hour photo printing still existed? It does. And that fact made this late-night-on-the-eve-of-the-party-idea a reality. I bought poster boards, traced the letters, placed photos as they looked good along the outline. After being sure they were as I liked them, I taped down each photo and cut along the letters. Big props to my better half for figuring out how to hang this from our fence!
I had been looking for a reason to get an Instax camera and this seemed like a great one.  This served as our guest book station. People snapped instant pics and placed them in a journal with a note to the big ONE year old. To be sure guests do this, I highly recommend a sweet grandma encouraging it. No one disses Grandma. NO ONE!

There are tons of highchair signs for sale on Etsy, but I was up for this DIY. I made the sign just as I made the mantle sign and added in tissue paper garlands in between. I also owe Luna Bazaar for the paper lanterns hung throughout. 

Finding ShopBracket when I did could be called nothing but fate. I  just couldn't resist their personalized stirrers and topper.
Because I couldn't bring myself to buy 60+ of the cutest drink stirrers known to man, I printed off "The Big One" and "Happy Birthday Frank" on 1.25 circle labels and affixed one on each side of a coffee stir stick. I printed the same message on 2.5 circles and added those to plastic cups. Personalized napkins were added as well. Hint: Stick to more "Happy Birthday "Messages than calling out the year so that you can re-use most items later.
You may have noticed the basket o' bubbles at the drink table, too. I decided to provide something that kiddos love for during the party and also have it serve double duty as the favor. Bubbles were bought, the original label was removed and this cute label was put in its place. Why on the drink table, you ask? Because they were next to the champagne with a sign that read "Pop some bubbles", duh.

Speaking of kiddos, did you know that a kiddie pool filled with some ball pit balls is the best babysitter one could ask for? It's true.  An experienced mom gave me this idea and it's genius. Both the pool and balls were purchased on Amazon. Adorable toddlers not for sale.
The man of the hour, soaking it all in. Gingham "1"sie from Brimmer Baby

And that, my broads, is how we celebrated The Big ONE. Cheers.